Bamboo art in the Met’s Japanese galleries

The Japanese galleries at the Met are like a bride -- they always have something old, something new, and no doubt if you look hard enough you'll spot something blue.  This summer, bamboo art is the overarching theme, starting with "The Gate," an amazing construct that artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV created for the entrance to … Continue reading Bamboo art in the Met’s Japanese galleries

More about the Qin and the Han

Two shows could not be more complimentary in tone and emphasis than the Asian Art Museum's "Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China's Han Dynasty" and the Met's "Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties."  I won't repeat what I said in WSJ reviews (here and here) but instead talk about a few … Continue reading More about the Qin and the Han

Peering inside Myanmar’s earliest stupas

This time-worn cover of a relic chamber is another mesmerizing work on display At the Met in "Lost Kingdoms."   It was found inside a stupa at Sri Ksetra, a 1,500-year old site we visited in 2012.  It is in ruinous state, so much so the World Monuments Fund added it to its endangered list.  But it has … Continue reading Peering inside Myanmar’s earliest stupas

One very good answer to a difficult question

Curators of non-Western art struggle over whether to exhibit contemporary art in so-called regional galleries --  Chinese, South Asian, African -- or to showcase them in galleries devoted to Contemporary art.   After all, today's art scene is global and, indeed, has been for a long time, ever since imperial powers taught European art history and techniques … Continue reading One very good answer to a difficult question

Scrolling through Chinese art

"I hate theme shows.  I hate shows that bunch a whole lot of works together that should be seen alone."  This -- or words to this effect -- is what an artist friend said when I was telling him about a show of Chinese paintings at the Met I had reviewed.  It hit home because, … Continue reading Scrolling through Chinese art